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Plastic Pals - Good Karma Cafe

  by Andrew Carver

published: 14 / 2 / 2010

Plastic Pals - Good Karma Cafe
Label: Polythene
Format: CD


Overwrought, but accomplished debut album from Swedish psychedelic/punk rockers, the Plastic Pals

The Plastic Pals are a Swedish band with a taste for retro-pop augmented with a few modern embellishments, not unlike their countrymen the Soundtrack Of Our Lives, power-poppers Psychotic Youth or Dane Viva Vertigo. Opener ‘Here Comes The Sun’, sounding very much like one of the Dream Syndicate’s up tempo numbers, though frontman Hakan Soold’s slightly melodramatic delivery sets a far different tone than Steve Wynn’s deadpan vocals. ‘She’s Going Back’ is a similar jumpy number, which also showcases the band’s occasionally lame lyrics (the lady in question is returning to her hometown, a point made at even greater length than choruses require). ‘Long And Lonely’ settles back to a leisurely pace despite its skittering drumbeat. Once again Sold’s ever-so-slightly overwrought vocals tend to dominate proceedings, despite some luscious background harmonies. Though they suit the lyrics, they’re definitely moving into “acquired taste” territory. ‘The Best Kept Secret’ kicks things back into higher gear, with some slicing lead guitar and a melody that would suit a Died Pretty tune; ‘Gone With The Wind’ features more capable guitar interplay from Soold and Anders Sahlin. The title track – a paean to a closing music venue – settles back to the moody tone of ‘Long And Lonely’, demonstrating once again that the Pals do cheery better. ‘Shadow Of A Dream’ and ‘Suicide Bomber’ do a better job with a somewhat brisker attack. ‘There’s Wind on The Moon’ and ‘Let’s Pretend This Isn’t True’ close the album out with some more bouncy tuneage and fake (and quite pointless) vinyl crackle. If you can look past the occasionally dopy lyrics (an occupational hazard in rock’n’roll, anyway) and Soold’s delivery, you’ve got a decent album of Scandinavian pop.

Track Listing:-
1 Here Comes the Sun
2 She's Going Back
3 Long and Lonely
4 The Best Kept Secret
5 Gone with the Wind
6 Good Karma Café
7 Shadow of a Dream
8 Suicide Bomber
9 There's Wind on the Moon
10 Let's Pretend It Isn't True

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